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Biden administration might appeal ruling that voids federal mask mandate on public transportation

department of justice building
Posted at 4:07 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 19:16:49-04

The Biden White House has announced that it may appeal a federal ruling from a Florida judge which struck down and voided a federal mask mandate for passengers and staff on trains, buses, airplanes and other forms of public transportation as a precaution to combat the spread of COVID-19.

As the New York Times reported, the announcement, which came out on Tuesday, said that an appeal could move forward if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided that extending the measure would be needed.

In a statement from the Department of Justice, it says that the agency along with the CDC “disagree with the district court’s decision and will appeal, subject to C.D.C.’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health,” the statement said.

President Joe Biden’s administration has been working for months to prepare people to rethink their personal risk calculations as the nation gets used to the idea of living with an endemic COVID-19.

That measured approach disappeared abruptly after a federal judge threw out a federal requirement to mask up when using mass transit. The ruling adds to the administration’s messaging challenges as it tries to move past the virus in the lead-up to midterm elections.

The Biden administration is accelerating its efforts to provide the best advice for millions making their own personal safety decisions on the still-dangerous pandemic. It’s both a public health imperative and an important shift in emphasis for Biden’s political future.

The CDC also announced that it would be launching a new center that would forecast outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The agency announced on Tuesday that the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) would be like the National Weather Service but for infectious diseases.